It is estimated that 1 in 6 people each week experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, which significantly impacts healthcare resources worldwide(1).
The past year has been challenging with evidence indicating that self-reported mental health and wellbeing worsened during the first COVID-19 national lockdown, and although levels have reduced, 78% say that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health(2).
Data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study highlighted that for adults, average mental distress was 8.1% higher in April 2020, than it was between 2017 and 2019(3). In England and Wales there were 5,691 suicides in 2019, which was 321 more compared to the previous year(4).
Why is Mental Health important?
Our psychological, emotional and social well-being is all dictated by the health of our mind. From the way we think, behave, feel and act, it affects us in a multitude of ways. It also helps determine the way we handle everyday struggles, stress, life choices and the relationships we form with other people. Mental wellbeing is one of the most important things in everyday life, and it affects people from all walks of life.
People tend to minimise the importance of taking care of one’s mental health, and believe that it should be easy to improve. The path to positive mental health is a hard one that can take weeks, months and even years of work to achieve. Getting to a point where you are happy with yourself takes hard work. It is comparable to working out to get fit – you need to work out steadily for a few months to get where you want to be and then you must work to maintain it. The same goes for the mind – you need to work on it consistently to get to a point where it’s good, and then you need to work to keep it that way.